Sunday, April 10, 2011

Cool Out-of-Home Series #5: The Nivea Haus

How do you celebrate 100 years of helping Canadians care for their skin? If you're Nivea, you do it by getting out of the aisle and onto the streets...


Even after 100 years of success in the skin care business, Nivea had a problem. Despite making gains in the beauty category by expanding into adjacent lines of business - like hair care, shaving, and soaps - Nivea was still primarily associated with skin cream. At the same time, shoppers could be forgiven for being a bit apprehensive about spending money on expensive products without first being able to learn more about them and experience them first hand. Rather than just celebrate their 100-year anniversary with a traditional, awareness-based advertising campaign, Nivea decided to hit two birds with one stone: they would build a physical experience - via a temporary pop-up store - that they could use to both engage their consumers with the brand and their new line of products.

The "Nivea Haus" pop-up store opened on a trendy section of Queen Street in Toronto and welcomed people off of the street from late March to early April. The following are three ways in which this innovative out-of-home experience engaged the Nivea consumer.


Celebrating Nivea's History

The first aspect of the Nivea Haus that truly stood out is the celebration of the brand's history. The passion that the brand has for making people feel good in their skin seemed to emanate from the walls - literally! Painted on one of the walls was the following brand manifesto:

"Skin. We use it to touch, to feel and to express our deepest emotions. At NIVEA, we are passionate about skin care because we know it is an essential part of who you are. In fact, since 1911, our passion has always been to make you look and feel good in your skin. Take a tour and discover 100 years of NIVEA skin care expertise."

The store also a featured two art galleries along one side: one of the founders and key figures in the history of the company, and another featuring a classic series of nostalgia-soaked advertising from the past 100 years. There's no doubt that the Nivea Haus' full-on celebration of the brand's history played a huge part in making visitors feel a stronger connection to the brand.






Experiencing New Products First Hand

The second aspect of the store is truly the crux of the experience - and one of the key ways in which the brand hoped to increase its business with visitors. The store really was a paradise of personal care. Upon entering, visitors would immediately be greeted by a skin care specialist and handed a Nivea-branded bag to carry with them, which included samples from several of their new lines.

Fixtures that were stationed throughout the room proudly displayed Nivea's entire line of products - grouped according to type, like Sensitive Skin and Moisture - for both men and women. A stark contrast to the crowded, coupon-covered shelves of one's local pharmacy, the displays were clean, uncluttered, and allowed visitors to discover Nivea products that they probably didn't know about.

Finally, the Nivea Haus featured the opportunity to have one of their skin care experts give visitors a skin care analysis. Using a handy Samsung Galaxy Tab to input feedback from a visitor, an expert would explain which of Nivea's products would best suit their specific skin-type, and why. And because no Nivea products were sold at the pop-up store, visitors were under no pressure to buy.





Engaging Beyond the Brand and Category

The most interesting, and perhaps memorable, aspect of the Nivea Haus, however, was the way in which it worked to engage with visitors beyond the brand and category. The store provided opportunities for visitors to relax - with long, comfortable leather-bound couches - and have fun with several enjoyable experiences.

One of those experiences was an exercise-based Xbox Kinect game, which allowed visitors to break a sweat and bust a move in front of their friends. The other experience, however, took the cake by far as the most fun. With its very own photo studio, the Nivea Haus let visitors create their own classic Nivea advertisement - with them as the star.

With a few props or two, and the coaxing of an energetic photographer, visitors were able to strike their best pose for the camera, and then watch as the Photoshop artist transformed their picture into an advertisement. Each ad was then printed out for the visitor to keep, and a digital copy was also emailed to them so that they could post it online for all their friends to see.





All in all, the Nivea Haus was a very memorable experience. It helped visitors build a stronger connection with the brand, allowed them to experience and test the complete line of Nivea products, and even gave them something unique to take away, as well. The only sad part about this pop-up store is the fact that it only remained open for such a short period of time!

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